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Strong Earthquake, 5.3 on the Richter Scale, Shakes Cyprus

NICOSIA – An earthquake stuck Cyprus at 4:30 in the afternoon local time on Thursday, Jan. 21, which was felt in Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, and Famagusta, according to early reports.

According to the EMSC website, the earthquake had a magnitude of 5.3 on the Richter scale and occurred at a depth of 60 km, 42 km east of Nicosia.

Due to the earthquake, the work of the Plenary Session of the Cyprus House of Representatives was temporarily suspended, however, the discussion on the state budget for 2021 resumed about 20 minutes after the quake.

Many people in Cyprus took to social media to say how strongly they felt the quake with furniture shifting and lamps swaying, especially in high-rise buildings.

There were “no immediate reports of damage,” Reuters reported, adding that residents of high rise buildings in Nicosia felt the tremor and some were forced to evacuate.

Cyprus lies in an active seismic zone where it's estimated that 15% of the world's earthquakes occur. The last major quake, measuring 6.8, happened in 1996 and was the island's strongest in the previous 120 years.

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